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Edgard Varèse: The One All Alone
A Benefit for Other Minds
Monday, April 19 — 7:30pm
U.S. Premiere Screening — Tickets $20
Q & A with director Frank Scheffer to follow

Press Release

Sundance Kabuki Cinemas
1881 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94115

Edgar Varèse
Photo © Henry Parker, Columbia Records Photo Studio
The One All Alone by Frank Scheffer is an expedition into the life and work of the French-American composer Edgard Varese (1883-1965). The full-length documentary includes rare footage of Varèse, and interviews with Pierre Boulez and Elliott Carter. Chou Wen-chung is interviewed in Varèse's New York City home, and discusses the influence of his former teacher on site in Shanghai and Santa Fe. Musical performances feature Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly, who offers an inimitably informed impression of the composer's adventurous sense of musical expression.

After serving in the French army during the first world war, Varèse moved to America in 1915 and became a paragon of the musical explorer, eager to shed the influences of the "old world," in search of new sounds. He built his career in New York, founding the New Symphony Orchestra in 1915, and later the International Composers Guild, which introduced Americans to the music of Debussy, Stravinsky, Bartok and Schoenberg. His own works would prove deeply influential to generations of composers. His exploration of new sounds, especially strange percussion instruments like sirens and the lion's roar, in Hyperprism (1922-23) and Ionisation (1929-31), established an ethic of rebellion that influenced everyone from Frank Zappa to John Cage. His works Deserts (1950-54) and Poème Electronique (1957-58) are among the first important works to use tape recordings, and have helped earn him the moniker "Father of Electronic Music."

Frank Scheffer

The Dutch director and producer Scheffer (b. 1956) has become the foremost documentarian of contemporary musical lives, with past projects including: Conducting Mahler (1996) about the 1995 Mahler Festival in Amsterdam with Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, Riccardo Muti and Sir Simon Rattle; Frank Zappa: The Present Day Composer Refuses to Die (2000); A Labyrinth of Time (2004) on Elliott Carter; The
Sprawling in the Ocean
(2001) on present day New York composers; Sonic Acts (1998) on the history of electronic music; and The Road (1997) on Louis Andriessen.

Scheffer will attend the American Premiere of The One All Alone and discuss his work with Other Minds Executive & Artistic Director Charles Amirkhanian following the screening.

Edgar Varèse
Varèse in Santa Fe, 1937